Critics Consensus

Hardy Rises, but Venom Sinks Like a Brock

Plus, A Star Is Born is Certified Fresh.

by | October 4, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a persuasive PSA against the dangers of touching alien goo (Venom, starring Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed) and a celestial body reincarnated (A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga). What are the critics saying?

Venom (2018) 29%

Filmmakers are always faced with a tricky balance when attempting to adapt comics properties — the reason these characters make such appealing targets for adaptations is that they’re well known to a built-in fanbase, but the source material is tough to film without taking into account decades of increasingly complex stories. That’s a big bugaboo with Venom, which seeks to bring a wildly popular Spider-Man anti-hero to the big screen without tackling wide swaths of his (admittedly quite weird) origin story — or even involving the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler at all. That isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely difficult, and unfortunately, critics say the folks behind this movie weren’t up to the task. Starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, the down-on-his-luck journalist who finds himself unwillingly bonded with the titular bloodthirsty alien symbiote, Venom struggles to nail down its world-building elements while maintaining a tough tonal balance. It’s one part split personality comedy, one part brutal action thriller, and one part would-be superhero franchise starter — and unsurprisingly, reviews describe it as pretty much a complete mess. Fans of the character have been waiting years to see him get his proper cinematic due, but most of them will likely be left wanting after this.

A Star Is Born (2018) 90%

Last week’s updated Little Women didn’t exactly strike a chord with critics, but the pundits don’t always reject new versions of repeatedly remade movies. For our latest evidence, here’s A Star Is Born, which sees debuting director Bradley Cooper behind the lens for the latest take on a tale that first arrived in theaters in 1937 — and again in 1954, then yet again in 1976. You’d think there probably wouldn’t be much left to bring to the story, but this update proves that assumption delightfully wrong: critics say Cooper proves a deft hand in the director’s chair, and his chemistry opposite Gaga — whose own performance has prompted a chorus of cries echoing the film’s title — is more than enough to sell their characters’ Star-crossed romance all by itself. This project languished in development hell for years, but the extra time hasn’t hurt at all; reviews say the story of a struggling singer (Gaga) who falls in with a recording artist battling personal demons (Cooper) remains effortlessly absorbing in the right hands, and it’s in some excellent ones here. Expect to see a lot of sniffling patrons streaming out of A Star Is Born screenings this weekend — and don’t be surprised if this movie ends up being a big part of the conversation come awards season.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

green book Video Games nature CMT Warner Bros. DirecTV casting Epix zero dark thirty hist doctor who Creative Arts Emmys Rom-Com Apple strong female leads DC Universe IFC TIFF finale BBC Amazon cinemax Shudder Hulu Rocky Cartoon Network theme song Food Network LGBTQ Winners Mary Tyler Moore social media Nominations Polls and Games facebook sports cooking Lucasfilm Western jamie lee curtis Teen Tumblr CW Seed zombies Anna Paquin RT21 IFC Films revenge NBC Disney Channel Freeform Comedy See It Skip It PBS Netflix teaser Sundance Now TCM ABC Spike Lifetime TruTV WarnerMedia psychological thriller boxoffice President Mystery travel Esquire politics police drama game show anime Photos 21st Century Fox streaming OWN Trivia series mutant Musicals movies serial killer ghosts NYCC ratings historical drama Amazon Prime Video TBS Masterpiece GoT kids TCA 2017 Comics on TV anthology diversity cults Marvel TNT First Look political drama composers Comedy Central spy thriller American Society of Cinematographers Vudu Sneak Peek Quiz richard e. Grant 2019 A&E dragons Disney PaleyFest cats biography Character Guide The Witch Pet Sematary Bravo Set visit quibi Song of Ice and Fire Marathons X-Men BET Watching Series Disney streaming service Box Office Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tarantino Ellie Kemper CNN sitcom Cannes children's TV Brie Larson Shondaland spider-man dceu Nat Geo comiccon 2016 unscripted dc Awards Superheroes Adult Swim Music spinoff Chernobyl FXX TV Land BBC America Pride Month animated 20th Century Fox SundanceTV Paramount crime drama TV harry potter New York Comic Con Election Spectrum Originals Fox News Star Trek docudrama Ovation TCA Reality Reality Competition ESPN Acorn TV Binge Guide Oscars Crackle Action romance Syfy Trailer Infographic Extras crossover SXSW DC Comics Animation adventure zombie Black Mirror Universal Spring TV 2018 vampires Star Wars Chilling Adventures of Sabrina toy story Emmys Rock disaster Podcast USA 007 Britbox Emmy Nominations Horror Fantasy Winter TV Starz Ghostbusters based on movie MTV DC streaming service witnail robots USA Network elevated horror YouTube Premium technology ITV E3 Trophy Talk Summer MCU Certified Fresh award winner adaptation Biopics HBO Max YouTube Red Grammys Calendar discovery History 45 2015 Women's History Month Fall TV ABC Family RT History Lionsgate Super Bowl sequel book MSNBC HBO Walt Disney Pictures Mary Poppins Returns cars Kids & Family Valentine's Day Family Elton John Toys Nickelodeon Rocketman Captain marvel LGBT Logo Amazon Prime WGN singing competition The Arrangement dramedy Heroines Cosplay Dark Horse Comics Superheroe TLC Sony Pictures Drama Christmas 24 frames Film APB Stephen King 2017 crime GLAAD natural history Year in Review blaxploitation Country period drama television Thanksgiving Pixar aliens Mudbound Musical binge what to watch E! psycho Best and Worst Interview Paramount Network Comic Book comic National Geographic talk show thriller transformers DGA Film Festival VH1 Schedule Tomatazos Mary poppins cops Opinion space Pirates festivals war medical drama miniseries FX golden globes Sundance Sci-Fi Showtime supernatural Red Carpet Columbia Pictures AMC FOX mockumentary SDCC justice league stand-up comedy Countdown Mindy Kaling Holidays science fiction GIFs San Diego Comic-Con crime thriller El Rey CBS All Access Pop The CW true crime Writers Guild of America VICE tv talk Awards Tour Martial Arts YA Premiere Dates CBS